Segmental fracture of the scaphoid: report of a rare fracture pattern

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Introduction:To the best of our knowledge, there are no reports in the orthopaedic and trauma literature of true segmental fracture of the scaphoid bone. We present such a case with a brief discussion of the morphology and mechanisms of injury of scaphoid fractures and the problems they present, particularly in diagnosis.Case history:A 43-year-old male with polytrauma sustained in a motorcycle road traffic accident was treated at our hospital. His injuries included a fracture initially thought to involve the waist of the scaphoid. Because he had bilateral upper limb injuries, we elected to treat the fracture surgically to facilitate rehabilitation. At the time of surgery, the fracture was noted to be truly segmental, an unsuspected and rare finding. The fracture was internally fixed, with a satisfactory result.Discussion:Scaphoid fracture patterns are generally consistent and predictable, occurring most commonly through the waist of the bone. Mechanism for injury is thought to be hyperextension of the wrist. Comminution, with or without a butterfly fragment, is occasionally seen, as are simultaneous tuberosity fractures. We suggest that the mechanism in this case may have been multiple or secondary trauma, or an effect of loaded rotation. We highlight the need for careful imaging of the scaphoid bone prior to choosing treatment.

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